Caggiula A Hot-Commodity
Since winning the NCAA Championship with the North Dakota Fighting Hawks, which is still weird to say since the name change from the Fighting Sioux, college free agent Drake Caggiula has had quite the runaround from a slew of NHL teams.
After weeks of team visits and pitches as to why the Winger should join their franchise, league General Managers await his decision.
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From Elliott Friedman of Sportsnet:
Which eight teams were they you ask…
So it seems, from a very reputable source, that Caggiula has visited with both contenders and bottom-feeders in the NHL as he mulls his first professional decision.
Caggiula To Join North Dakota Teammates In Chicago?
One of the major players in the Caggiula sweepstakes is the Chicago Blackhawks. What would be the major factor in trying to sway Caggiula to join Chicago? Other than the ability to play for a franchise that has been one of, if not the most dominant over the last seven years and have the opportunity to jump right into the organization and make an impact. Caggiula would also have the opportunity to have some familiar faces play
alongside him in Chicago as the Blackhawks have signed 2013 Fifth-round draft pick Luke Johnson to his entry-level deal and await the signing of 2014 First-Round pick Nick Schmaltz, both of whom played with Caggiula at North Dakota over the last two seasons.
Caggiula, along with Johnson and Schmaltz (once he does sign with Chicago), have a unique opportunity with the Blackhawks this upcoming season that young prospects haven’t had in recent years: Organizational reliance on prospect development.
The Blackhawks over the past few years have relied heavily on the performance of their core players to drive the ship, and while that has worked well in the past, this year’s early exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs has exposed the Blackhawks dependence on those core players and their need for organizational depth and growth.
From general manager Stan Bowman after the Blackhawks were eliminated (Via Mark Potash):
Players like Johnson, Schmaltz, Tyler Motte, and various prospects from the Rockford IceHogs, could very well make major impacts with Chicago in 2016-17. Along with the annual salary-cap crunch the Blackhawks go through every summer, the need for prospect development and impact is at the highest it has ever been in the Wirtz/Bowman/Quenneville era for Chicago.
This past season ended very nicely for Johnson, Schmaltz, Caggiula and the Fighting Hawks as North Dakota topped Quinnipiac for the NCAA Championship. So why not continue the party for Caggiula and join his teammates in Chicago and be a part of the future for the Blackhawks?
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